Food giant aims to cut carbon footprint by 40% by 2020
Reports show that a new wind farm in Scotland will meet half of Nestlé UK’s energy needs from next year.
Food giant and chocolate manufacturer, Nestlé, has announced that, from next year it will source half of its UK energy needs from a new wind farm being built in Scotland.
The company has entered into a 15 year Power Partnership Agreement with Community Wind Power, a UK firm specialising in wind-generated energy. This collaboration will see the opening of a brand new nine-turbine wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway in early 2017, which will generate an expected output of 125GWh per year – enough to meet the energy needs of over 30,000 households.
Reducing the Carbon Footprint
Already sourcing its UK grid supplied electricity from renewable energy sources, Nestlé sees this latest development as an important step in achieving its goal of reducing its UK carbon footprint by 40% by 2020. According to Dame Fiona Kendrick, CEO and Chairman of Nestlé UK and Ireland, the newly commissioned facility has the capacity to provide half of the company’s electricity needs and is a key milestone in Nestlé’s bid to become a truly sustainable company.
Nestlé is a member of RE100 a global initiative of influential businesses working to significantly increase demand for – and delivery of – renewable energy. As a member of the initiative, Nestlé is committed to transitioning its electricity use to 100% renewable energy across its global operations within the shortest practical timescale – and this wind farm development is a significant step towards achieving this goal.
Emily Farnworth, Campaign Director of RE100 welcomed the news. “Nestlé recognises that climate change impacts pose a risk to the business, and sees renewable energy as part of the solution. Today’s announcement takes the company a step closer to its goal of sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its global operations, and reinforces the strong market signal – sent through RE100 – that business demand for renewables is rising.”
The Bigger Picture
Increasing the use of renewable energy is just one of the steps Nestlé is taking to improve the sustainability and responsibility of its operations. The company recently released its ‘Nestlé in Society’ report, which details the company’s progress against key objectives in nutrition, health and wellness; rural development; water; environmental sustainability; and people, human rights and compliance.
Some highlights from the previous two years covered by the report include sourcing 100% certifiably sustainable cocoa, meeting the goal to achieve zero waste in 10% of Nestlé factories by 2015, rolling out the company’s youth employment initiative across global operations, and receiving accreditation as a Living Wage employer in the UK – one of the first major manufacturers to do so.
And the company is not resting on its laurels. The report makes 39 commitments that Nestlé aims to meet by 2020 or earlier, to support its long-term goal of Creating Shared Value.
Dame Kendrick explained, “We know the role we have to play in UK and Ireland society and are serious about doing things the right way. Whether that’s looking at health and wellness, our carbon footprint, our supply chain, our people, there is work to be done.”
Sean Casey is the director of Terra Therma, which specialises in the installation of green energy solutions, such as underfloor heating and heat pumps, using the latest technology to provide the most efficient systems for his customers.